Husband-and-wife team Wesley and Colleen Crawford run Our Little Coffee House out of their little coffee house in Clinton, where they craft made-from-scratch goodies. Although best known for their fanciful cupcakes and a distrust of measuring cups, the twosome also bakes homemade pies, candies, pastries, and breads. Earning the most plaudits are the Crawford's cupcakes; six staple flavors including tropical pineapple and carrot caramel vie for counter space with rotating monthly and spur-of-the-moment creations. Wesley and Colleen are making a documentary about their journey, which has taken the couple from Macon, Georgia, to Tennessee, all in pursuit of their custard-covered dream.
Locally grown fruits and vegetables fill Aubrey's Restaurant's menu across seven locations in eastern Tennessee. In addition to Southern recipes for buttermilk fried chicken and pulled pork, the kitchen also stirs housemade pimento into a savory dip and marinates chicken in lemon and lime. Old-fashioned patty melts and other sandwiches join pastas such as the Rattlesnake linguine, with grilled chicken, spinach, green peppers, and Southwestern alfredo that are charmed into stillness with the twirl of a fork. Desserts, such as the chocolate turtle cake with Hershey's chocolate and Breyers ice cream, help top off each meal.
To the cooks at Papa Dom’s, the line between entree and pizza is hazy. That’s because the ingredients in classic Italian and American dishes sometimes double as eclectic toppings for their pizzas, creating pies that emulate the flavors of chicken alfredo and philly cheesesteaks. The kitchen staffers also whip up non-pizza dishes, including lasagna and meatball hoagies, and bar snacks such as Southwestern egg rolls and potato skins. They allow guests to customize their wings, pizzas, and sandwiches with desired toppings or accommodate food allergies with gluten-free crusts.
Mark’s Downtown Diner's staff slings a menu of American-bred plates in a classic diner environment, replete with caricature-lined walls and a green-and-white checkered motif. Grab a seat at the counter or sidle into a booth before engaging hunger in swordplay with an order of mozzarella sticks ($5.79). Golden-fried jumbo shrimp ($11.09) further dining expeditions by leaping happily along palates, and forks effortlessly harpoon a 12-ounce Black Angus rib-eye steak. Diners seeking greener repast can graze on a house salad ($3.29), three-veggie plate ($4.89), or their dining companion's lime-green tie. The diner also features daily specials, such as Tuesday's homemade meaty lasagna ($7.99), and sweets such as fresh-baked cobbler pies ($2.29/slice) cap off dinners or power dessert-fueled jetpacks for hovers home.
Colonel Eure opened his first pizza restaurant in 1964 and when time came to open another franchise five years later, he named it Gatti's Pizza in honor of his wife's maiden name. The Gatti's Pizza empire steadily expanded over the next four decades, thanks in part to a commitment to high-quality ingredients such as real cheese, yeast-risen dough made fresh daily, and a 16-ingredient secret sauce protected by Swiss bankers. Today, chefs prepare specialty pies such as the barbecue chicken and bacon double cheeseburger pizza and bake custom creations from a choice of 17 toppings and three crust options. Many Gatti's locations boast a dining room complete with a big-screen TV, and some include a Veggie Tales room, a sports room, and a game room.
Jose Garcia’s life has drawn him in many different directions. He grew up in Mexico, but he moved to pursue the American dream, which propelled him from a job as a dishwasher at a Chinese restaurant to his current role as chef and owner of WokStar Asian Cuisine. Here, he draws on culinary skills he painstakingly taught himself and presides over cooks who chop vegetables and wok-sear meats before patrons’ eyes. The menu brims with Chinese, Korean, and Thai influences, which infuse the air with the scents of ginger, garlic, and sesame. Spicy fare, such as chili-spiked kung pao, can be cooked according to a personal preference for mild food or a need to teach a robot to sweat.